India has always produced some great batsmen over the years. However, the team management, in the last couple of years and ahead of the World Cup 2019, failed to find a solid number four batsman after Yuvraj Singh’s exit. The likes of Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni played at the much-debated position but none of them got consistent opportunities.
After the semi-final debacle in the World Cup, Shreyas Iyer was called up to the team for the West Indies tour and since then, the Mumbai lad has owned the position with authority. Even in the 3-0 whitewash to New Zealand recently in the ODIs, Iyer emerged as a positive for team India and a potential candidate for the Number 4 spot, on long term basis.
Shreyas Iyer ended the ODI series being the highest run-getter, including a century and a couple of half-centuries. He seems to have cemented the number 4 spot with his performances, not only in ODIs, but in T20Is as well. In a recent interview with Times of India, the 25-year-old talked about how he feels about the number four position and the chatter that comes along with that batting spot.
Shreyas Iyer feels being versatile and flexible is important
Shreyas Iyer also admitted that the constant discussion about him being the only batsman to play at that middle-order position irritates him and reiterated the importance of being flexible and versatile as a batsman.
“Oh, it really gets to me… to the extent that sometimes the debate itself begins to get irritating. It’s not like I’m the only batsman who can bat at No.4. Flexibility, versatility, these are actual terms that one needs to apply right? Not just fancy words to read about and forget. Growing up as a cricketer, I’ve batted in almost every position between the top and the middle-order.
“Tomorrow, if I’m asked to bat at No. 5, that’s what you’ll find me doing. If I’m asked to walk out there and open, that’ll be my responsibility. The middle-order should be the talking point. Not just No. 4,” Iyer said. However, Iyer also went on to say that he is the most comfortable batting at four having done the job for a while now for the team.
“But isn’t it a comfortable feeling when you begin to get associated with a particular slot? Some of the greatest batsmen didn’t mind that. Yes, I do feel comfortable now batting at No. 4. I’ve done that for a while now and it’s beginning to feel like it’s the space where I belong – so why not? But let me reiterate this.
“If you’re going to play at the highest level, it’s about what the team wants and the concerns that need to be addressed at that given moment in time,” Iyer added.
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